Washington Secrets

Colorado sheriffs: Don't ban assault weapons, big magazines, ammo

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Gun Control

Count the sheriffs' association of Colorado, home to the Aurora movie slaying, as another state law enforcement group opposed to broad gun control laws.

In a sweeping rejection of some of the harshest gun control proposals of any state, the County Sheriffs of Colorado has issued a statement calling on proponents to take a breather and consider the impact of the laws being proposed.

"Our sympathies are with the victims in the Aurora theater shooting and at Sandy Hook," they said on Tuesday. "However, the sheriffs do not believe this is the appropriate time to introduce gun control legislation because decisions likely will be made on emotion rather than reason."

The statement opposes laws being proposed in Colorado that mirror federal plans pushed by the president and Democrats in the Senate. The group said that gun control decisions should be "tabled for at least a year."

On specific issues:

-- Assault weapon ban. The group explained that most "assault weapons" are semi-automatic rifles that "do not spray like a machine gun." They added that "the term 'assault weapon' often is employed incorrectly to describe an ordinary semi-automatic rifle such as an AR-15, which millions of responsible Americans own without ever harming another person."

-- Ban on high-capacity magazines. "Law enforcement officers carry high-capacity magazines because there are times when 10 rounds might not be enough to end the threat. County Sheriffs of Colorado believe the same should hold true for civilians who wish to defend themselves."

-- Ban on private sales of firearms. "The County Sheriffs of Colorado are adamantly opposed to any restriction on a person's right to privately sell firearms to another person," said the group. "They do not owe an explanation to the government."

-- Ban on bulk purchase of ammunition. "Buying ammunition in large quantities does not equate to mass murder. Recreational shooters often will go through several thousand rounds in a month and never hurt another human being."

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